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10/18/2011
10:24 AM
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3LM Enables Android Device Management for the Enterprise

Droid devices are behind iOS in many areas important to enterprises, including Mobile Device Management. 3LM aims to fill that void.

One of the biggest problems with bringing your Droid to work has been the lack of enterprise-level security for Android devices. Without a way to protect against attack and insure the safety of intellectual property, many organizations are loathe to allow this bit of consumer technology in the workplace. However, a recent development in mobile device security might resolve this problem.

3LM, a subsidiary of Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc., has introduced an enterprise-grade solution to add security and data protection to mobile devices. The development is significant in that 3LM's solution specifically involves a partnership with device manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC, insuring that the devices made will be enterprise ready. The enhanced functionality can be easily activated by IT admins via an enterprise server console.

Historically, with other Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems, and now with 3LM's solution, enterprise administrators get enhanced device-level security through encryption of both onboard RAM and the storage card. MDM systems support application white and black lists, and enforce strong passwords. They also let admins remotely install, uninstall, and disable applications. Provisioned devices that become lost can be tracked via locations service--or remotely wiped. VPN support for domain-controlled resources is also available.

But Android MDM is a new market; players were almost nonexistent a year ago. It's a promising market, but 3LM has its work cut out for it. For one, most Android MDM systems, including 3LM, support only Android 2.2 or greater--which means there are a number of legacy devices out there that need to be controlled. Also, although 3LM's ROM-only solution has its security advantages, competitors such as Air Watch or Zenprise make device-side components available in the Android Market for free, allowing enterprise admins to support a wider variety of devices.

The questions that remain about 3LM's solution all are root related. Although the practice might be banned in some companies--and unsupported by some of 3LM's competitors--installing custom ROMs in Android devices is common because of all the extra phone features users can get.

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